Part 1 of this article↓↓
There Actually was a Fourth Face!
The Tower of the Sun is generally considered to have three faces, but in 1970, there was another face. It is called "Sun of the Underworld."
This face was an indescribable expression of nothingness. At the time of the Japan World Exposition, the works were also exhibited in the basement, where the fourth face was displayed.
However, after the Expo was over, the fourth face disappeared. What a strange phenomenon! The mystery has yet to be solved.
The fourth face, which had been missing since then, seems to have been reconstructed with the help of a few materials such as snapshots taken during the production process at that time. Now, the "Sun of the Underworld" seems to be called the sorcerer of the forest of gods.
A World of Art Exists inside the Tower of the Sun
The Tower of the Sun has an interior that is also an exhibition space. This exhibition space is called the Tree of Life.
A group of 292 biological models of various sizes are attached to the trunk and branches of the tree, representing the evolutionary process of life from protozoa such as amoeba to caddisflies, dinosaurs, and humans. As you climb up the spiral staircase, you can see the evolution of life. At the bottom are amoeba, dinosaurs, mammoths, gorillas, and so on. And as you go up, you get to the human race.
What is interesting here, however, is that Okamoto did not dare to include Homo sapiens, the ancestor of us humans. The humans who appear on this tree of life are Neanderthals, a genus of humans that is said to have become extinct 20,000 years ago. The creature at the top of the tree of life is Cro-Magnon. Why is there no Homo sapiens?
Compared to them, who created various tools to survive in the harsh world and left vivid murals of wild creatures in the caves of Lascaux, we humans have not progressed at all," said Okamoto. It is true that from an artistic point of view, the Netandertals and Cro-Magnon man may have been more advanced in terms of their well-painted murals. That is why he did not have us Homo sapiens appear on this tree.
There are also many other exhibits in the basement besides the Tree of Life.
One of them is a drawing of the process of the completion of the Tower of the Sun by Okamoto.
Now, it seems that tourists are rushing to see the inside exhibition. Don't forget a reservation in advance since it's required for viewing!
Hope this article has given you an insight into the thoughts and feelings of Taro Okamoto and what the situation was like at the time of the Japan World Exposition. It would be wonderful if we could turn his wish into a hope that we can do our best even today, just as he did with the golden sun at the top of the tower.
Check Japanese Comtemporary Artists/Works
Besides the famous Taro Okamoto, there are many undiscovered contemporary artists in Japan.
Check Artsy: https://www.artsy.net/partner/kyoto-art-gallery